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Federal money will aid city high schools

September 29, 2006|by TARA REILLY

A $1.1 million federal grant will allow Washington County Public Schools to create smaller learning environments at its two largest high schools.

The school system received a five-year, $1.14 million Smaller Learning Community Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., announced Thursday.

The money will allow Washington County school officials to establish smaller learning communities, such as magnet programs or academies, at North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown high schools.

Public Information Officer Carol Mowen said the school system is working out the specifics of what kind of programs to create at the schools.

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Donna Hanlin, assistant superintendent for secondary education, said she was excited to learn of the award.

Hanlin said the school system has been awarded about $4 million in federal competitive grants in the last year.

"We have been aggressive in seeking (grants), and it's definitely paying off," Hanlin said.

Some of the activities allowed under the grant include reorganizing schools, extending learning time and professional development, according to the Department of Education.

High schools offering 11th and 12th grades and having enrollments of at least 1,000 students were eligible for the grants, according to the Department of Education.

"Washington County schools provide an excellent education and this ($1.14 million) federal grant will help ensure that education remains among the best in the world," Bartlett said in a written statement.

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